USA and Russian GLORIAD Partnership Building International Geoscience Collaboration

September 24, 2007

Knoxville/Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA (Sept. 24, 2007)
Moscow, Russian Federation

Last week, at the 7th Annual Global Lambda Grid Workshop in Prague, GLORIAD (Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development), an international advanced networking consortium announced GSciWave, a unique high performance network service to support advanced geophysical scientific research.  GSciWave provides the geoscience communities of USA and Russian Federation with a persistent high performance lightpath (1 Gbps - one billion bits of information per second) directly between two science centers, one in Moscow and one in Boulder, Colorado, bypassing the much slower rates of the standard Internet. This high speed service is already transferring extremely large scientific data files between two major science centers, the Geophysical Center and Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Science (GC and IKI RAS) in Moscow and the National Geophysics Data Center (NGDC), National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado.

GSciWave is a cooperative project managed by two major partners of the GLORIAD consortium the USA and the Russian Federation.  GLORIAD, which provides major cyberinfrastructure resources to support international science collaborations This specialized network will be used to enhance the ability to perform leading-edge, innovative research and produce more sophisticated analyses and predictions of Earth system variability and change, and the impacts of the change on the ecosystems and human society. GLORIAD participants are part of a global initiative called the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), which promotes the paradigm of lightpaths, or lambda networks, for data-intensive scientific research and applications.

 A major goal of the international Geoscience communities is to develop a predictive Earth science system to help sustain Earth habitability, improve environmental quality, safeguard human health, and reduce the impacts of natural disasters. Using advanced cyberinfrastructure, the Geosciences will have the capability to produce comprehensive information systems for decision markers in the government, public and private sectors, that can reduce vulnerability of countries, economies, and individuals to climate changes, severe weather, space weather hazards, and can support efficient operation and effective resource management.

The new high-performance communications service based on a persistent lightpath between Boulder and Moscow. The service will support many areas of  research in the area of Geosciences, allowing for large-scale data transfer, visualization, collaboration, data analysis, instrumentation and the development of new scientific tools and methods.

“Provisioning a persistent 1Gbps lightpath to support daily Geoscience research between National Geophysics Data Center, NOAA in Boulder, CO, USA and the Geophysical Center, Russian Acad. Sci. in Moscow, Russia,” said Dr.Christopher G. Fox, Director, National Geophysics Data Center (NGDC), Boulder, CA, USA, “will allow utilization of large-scale, highly distributed data-sets by more easily enabling the acquisition, processing, and scientific interpretation of satellite-derived remote sensing, near-real-time environmental data, and active source data.  The effort from scientists and engineers from USA and Russia are the first major step toward sharing Global Earth Science Information in support of an International Geoscience collaboratory for our common future.”

For example, scientists Dr. Eric Kihn, Dr. Thomas Carey (NGDC, NOAA at Boulder, Co., USA), andDr. Mikhail Zhizhin (GC RAS at Moscow, Russian Federation) have been working together for more than 10 years on a number of the projects, such as Space Physics Interactive Data Resource (SPIDR) developing new environmental databases and data mining algorithms to search for weather events using extremely large-sized databases and to develop a new web-service API to the NOAA CLASS (Comprehensive Large-Array Stewardship System, which stores all NOAA satellite data archives).
“Scientific data archives are growing faster than the number of scientists who can mine and analyze the data,” said Dr. Eric Kihn , Research Scientist, National Geophysics Data Center, NOAA (NGDC), Boulder, USA. “In the last decade, world data centers and national scientific institutions in many countries, such as the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center in the USA and the Space Research Institute and Geophysical Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, have built a data grid to share scientific databases with space and terrestrial weather observations and reanalysis data and remote sensing satellite images.”

Dr. Ravil R. Nazirov, Deputy Director, Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia , said, “Today we have succeeded in exchanging space and terrestrial weather databases between the National Geophysical Data Center NOAA and Geophysical Center and Space Research Institute RAS over the specially constructed 1Gbps lightpath, which is provided  by the GLORIAD consortium partners. This will have significant impact on the research of global climate change, solar-terrestrial physics, and ecology. The speed of the lightpath link enables us to share in real time the remote sensing data archives instead of building a new satellite receiver stations. Combined with scientific data visualization and collaboration technology, it gives to environmental scientists a new set of tools to accelerate research and handle, on a global scale, rapidly growing data archives.”

“Earth science data and information are generated, collected, and archived at geographically dispersed locations and computers by different countries and organizations. To leverage the resources for discovering earth science information and knowledge, we need to provide  the  global Geosciences with advanced cyberinfrastructure. The implementation of the 1Gbps lightpath over GLORIAD to connect global facilities is a significant achievement between USA and Russian scientists and an important first step toward realizing the concept of a  Global Geoscience Collaboration,” stated Academician E.P. Velikhov, President Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” (RRC “KI”), Leader of GLORIAD/Russia
 The development of GSciWave was made possible through a unique international partnership among  organizations and international projects, global network facilities, and national networks  including the GLORIAD consortium; TransLight/StarLight initiative, StarLight at Chicago; Front Range GigaPOP in Boulder, Colorado; MoscowLight in Moscow, Russia;  NetherLight in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; the National LambdaRail (NLR), USA; and, the Russian  Backbone network for Research and Education (RBnet), Russia.

Joe Mambretti, Thomas DeFanti , Maxine Brown, Alan Verlo, Natalia Bulashova, Greg Cole, Evgeny P.Velikhov, Alexey Soldatov,  Alexey Platonov, Mikhail Zhizhin , Ravil Nazirov, Anton Korotin , Alexander Ilin, Michael Boyarsky, Veniamin Konoplev , Olga Starostina , Chris Fox , Eric Kihn, Alex Hsia ,  Marla Meehl , Pete Siemsen, Tom Carey, Kees Neggers, Erik-Jan Bos, JP Velders, Tom West
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About The Geophysical Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation
The Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1958 by a special Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers with the mandate to archive and exchange data resulting since the first International Geophysical Year. Its primary goal is to conduct basic and applied research in the fields of geophysics and geoinformatics. For more information, see <>

  About the National Geophysics Data Center (NGDC), Boulder, CO, USA
The National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), located in Boulder, Colorado, is a part of the US Department of Commerce (USDOC), National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS). NGDC is one of three NOAA National Data Centers. NGDC's Mission is to provide long-term scientific data stewardship for the Nation's geophysical data, ensuring quality, integrity, and accessibility.
For more information, see < >.

About The Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of  Sciences, Russian Federation
Institute of Space Research, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), is the leading RAS organization in scientific research areas such as: Outer Space, Solar System planets and other objects of the Universe. The Space Research Institute (IKI) is primarily in charge of long-range planning and elaboration of space research programs, of which a considerable part is performed within the framework of international space research cooperation. For more information, see < >.

About  the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, USA
NOAA is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere. It plays several distinct roles within the Department of Commerce.  NOAA’s Vision are An informed society that uses a comprehensive understanding of the role of the oceans, coasts and atmosphere in the global ecosystem to make the best social and economic decisions. NOAA’s mission are to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation’s economic, social and environmental needs. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global Earth observation network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects. For more information, see <>

The GLORIAD (Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development) advanced science internet network was launched in January 2004 by the USA, Russia and China, expanded its reach in 2005 – to Korea, Canada and The Netherlands – and in 2006 to the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. GLORIAD provides an optical network ring encircling the northern hemisphere of the globe with individual network circuits providing up to 10 Gbps – promoting new opportunities for cooperation for scientists, educators and students. The GLORIAD project is supported by the Ministry of Science and Education of Russian Federation, the National Science Foundation of USA, the USA Research & Education (R&E) network National LambdaRail, the Chinese Academy of Science, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea, Canadian non-profit association CANARIE, the national R&E network of Netherlands SURFnet, the national R&E network of the Nordic Countries NORDUnet, as well as a number of other organizations representing countries which participate in the project. GLORIAD/USA is based at the University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Joint Institute for Computation Science. GLORIAD/Russia is based at the Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Moscow and managed by Russian Institute for Public Networks. GLORIAD/Netherlands is based in Amsterdam and managed by SURFnet. For more information, see <>.

About TransLight/Starlight, USA
In cooperation with USA and European National Research & Education Networks, TransLight/StarLight is implementing a strategy to best serve established USA and European production science, including usage by those scientists, engineers and educators who have persistent large-flow, real-time, and/or other advanced application requirements. TransLight/StarLight currently provides two connections between the USA and Europe for production science: a routed connection that connects the pan-European GÉANT2 to the USA Internet2, National LambdaRail and ESnet networks, and a switched connection that is part of the LambdaGrid fabric being created by participants of the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF). Major funding is provided by the USA National Science Foundation International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program, award OCI-0441094 to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), for the period February 2005 - January 2010. For more information, see <>.

About StarLight (sm), USA
StarLight is an advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground for network services optimized for high-performance applications. StarLight is the GLIF Open Lightpath Exchange (GOLE) in Chicago. Operational since summer 2001, StarLight has 1GE and 10GE switch/router facilities and true optical switching for wavelengths. StarLight is being developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with Canada's CANARIE and the Netherlands' SURFnet. See < >. StarLight (sm) is a service mark of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

About The Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Russian Federation
The Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Russia’s leading research and development institution in the field of nuclear energy, was founded in 1943. The Kurchatov Institute is funded through the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and through international cooperation and commercial projects. It is divided into 15 institutes and six scientific and technological divisions. The Institute conducts research on controlled thermonuclear fusion, plasma physics, solid state physics, superconductivity, molecular physics, physical and inorganic chemistry, chemical physics, chemistry, safety of new technologies, ecology and health, biology, genomics and bioinformatics, biotechnology, element basis of microelectronics, material science, nanotechnology, networking and information science. The RRC “KI” is the founder of Russia’s Internet and the Russian Research and Education network, and the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN). GLORIAD/Russia is based at the RRC “KI” and managed by the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN).  For more information, see <>

About The Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN), Russian Federation
Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN) was founded in 1992 by the Science and Higher School Committee of Russia, Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" and the Computer Center of the Kurchatov Institute. RIPN operates the Russian Backbone Network and MoscowLight facility, supports Technical Center of national domain TLD .RU and develops public Internet Exchanges in the largest cities of Russia. RIPN is GLORIAD/Russia’s network operator. For more information, see <>

About The Russian Backbone Network (RBNet) (since 1996), Russian Federation
Russian Backbone Network (since 1996) is a backbone that serves regional, specialized and corporate networks for Research and Education. At present, it is a high-speed IP network with Points-of-Presence (POPs) in all Federal Regions of Russia, and is migrating to a Hybrid Network Infrastructure. Recently, RBNet established the GLIF Open Lambda Exchange (GOLE) Facility, MoscowLight, to support the Hybrid Network Infrastructure, a 10 Gbps link from Moscow (MoscowLight) to Amsterdam (NetherLight)a lightpath between Moscow, Amsterdam and Chicago. RBNet will soon establish a 2.5Gbps - Moscow - Khabarovsk link, with a connection to Hong Kong (HKOEP-HKLight)  and Korea (KRLight). For more information, see <>
About the Front Range GigaPop /University Corporation for Atmospheric Research/ National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA
The Front Range GigaPOP (FRGP) is a consortium of Universities, non-profit corporations, and government agencies that cooperate in an aggregation point called the FRGP in order to share Wide Area Networking (WAN) services, access to the commodity Internet, access to the Abilene research network, and access to the National LambdaRail (NLR).  The FRGP is one of several gigapops in the US.  NCAR/UCAR provides the engineering and Network Operations Center support for the FRGP.For more information, see < >.

About National LambdaRail, USA
National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies to provide a national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. NLR puts the control, the power and the promise of experimental network infrastructure in the hands of  nation's scientists and researchers. For more information, see < > for more information.

The University of Tennessee (UT) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) established the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS) to advance scientific discovery and state-of-the-art engineering and to further knowledge of computational modeling and simulation by taking full advantage of the terascale and beyond computers in the National Center for Computational Sciences housed at ORNL, and by educating a new generation of scientists and engineers well-versed in the application of computational modeling and simulation for solving for the most challenging scientific and engineering problems. GLORIAD/USA based at UT-ORNL JICS. For more information, see <>  and < >

About NetherLight/SURFnet, The Netherlands
NetherLight is the GLIF Open Lightpath Exchange (GOLE) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has been operational since January 2002. SURFnet enables breakthrough education and research. We develop and operate the national SURFnet6 network and provide innovative services in the areas of security, authentication and authorisation, group communication and video. Over 750,000 academics, staff and students in higher education and research in the Netherlands have daily access to the Internet using SURFnet6. SURFnet is a partner in SURF, the organisation for innovative ICT facilities in which academic universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions collaborate at the national and international levels.

For more information:
Natalia Bulashova
Co-Principal Investigator, GLORIAD

Last Updated: 17 February 2010